Nicaragua Trip Recap & A Letter of Gratitude
On March 14th, my wife and I returned home to a world of uncertainty after spending a week visiting our producers and friends in Nicaragua. For 5 days we had been on the proverbial Mountain Top, seeing the fruition of 10 years of relationship building and investment expanding, only to return to an upheaval of our
business unlike anything we had ever imagined.
While in Nicaragua, we visited the Mercy Kids new occupational therapy center which we were able to invest $20,000 into last year (with your incredible help). We visited a local school where, for the first time in the town of Jalapa, children with handicaps are being included in the classroom. We saw children receiving therapies that are changing their lives. And we heard the precious stories of moms who now have hope that their children’s lives will improve because of the work of these dear people.
In the city of Ocotal, we stood inside a new Compassion International Child Development Center that was founded in January by Luis Alberto Balladarez, the producer from whom we buy the majority of our Nicaraguan coffee. It was the culmination of two years of planning, after Luis shared his heart during out
2018 trip to gives the kids of a poor, gang-infested neighborhood called Barrio Sandino the hope of a future that included education, learning trades and having jobs. The folks at Crossroads Church here in Cincy connected Luis with Compassion and we helped fund the construction of the building. Now, 182 kids are receiving support and 56 of them are already sponsored.
And we spent time with our dear friends Joaquin and Marielo Lovo, whose farms we have been investing into during each of the past three years (and whose coffee Santa Teresa Natural we just released). We got to see the raised African style drying beds we sent them $4,000 to build last year, which now creates new
opportunities for them to market new coffee styles to the roasters who buy their coffees.
We returned convinced that God has blessed us with an opportunity to see the fruit of many years of vision casting and hard work now coming to life. During this difficult time, THAT has been something tangible that we can hold onto. What we are collectively doing together as we walk out this coffee and compassion
journey is impacting real people’s lives. AND IT WILL NOT END BECAUSE OF COVID-19.
Friends, YOU are a part of everything I shared above and much more. YOUR ORDERS in the past three weeks have been a very real life-line for us. They have meant that we have not had to lay anyone off. Have we had to make significant changes to our business? Yes. Have we had to reduce hours so we can get through each week without losing money? Yes. But everyone is still working. And we owe YOU a huge debt of gratitude for the fierce loyalty and support you are showing us.
THANK YOU for this sacrifice. THANK YOU for this demonstration of confidence in us. THANK YOU for spending these dollars with us. We will put them to good use. PLEASE STICK WITH US.